Tag Archives: BC Fish Farms

Green Candidate Explains What Her Party Wants For BC & Why It Must Be Now

The ECOreport continues examining BC’s 2017 election by interviewing Sue Moen, a Green candidate explains what her party wants for BC and why it must be now

By Roy L Hales

Sue Moen is not willing to accept the status quo. She has a passion for change, for progress, for a re-balancing of society and society with nature. In the attached podcasts, the Green candidate for North Island explains what her party wants for BC & why it must be now.

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Bring Salmon Farms On Land

The ECOreport looks at British Columbian companies and the push to bring salmon farms on land

By Roy L Hales

screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3-43-47-pmCanada’s $2 billion Aquaculture industry is embroiled in controversy. While there may be some debate as to whether wild salmon spread more infections to British Columbia’s penned stock or vice versa,1 there have been incidents like the Queen Charlotte Strait’s 2015 sea lice epidemic.2 On May 20, 2016, Dr Kristi Miller, from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, announced that there is “a potential Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI) in farmed Atlantic salmon samples” collected from a aquaculture facility off the coast of Vancouver Island. In Norway, where HSMI is more common, this disease is “associated with generally low mortality on farms, generally between 0 to 20%.”3 The stress (and thus mortality rate) is undoubtedly greater on wild salmon, which need to capture prey, escape predators and swim upstream to spawn. So, acting on behalf of marine biologist Alexandra Morton, ECOjustice is suing Canada’s Ministry of Fisheries for putting wild salmon at risk. Some argue the best answer is to bring salmon farms on land.

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  1. Marine Harvest Canada’s (MHC)studies show that the prevalence of sea lice in wild salmon stocks is unaffected by the presence, or absence, of fish farms. Katherine Dolmage, MHC’s Certification Officer, claims that wild salmon definitely spread sea lice to fish farms in the fall, but data showing that fish farms infect smolts when they swim out to the ocean, in the spring, is not conclusive. Anti-fish farm biologist Alexandra Morton emailed me that these studies are bogus, but did not explain why.
  2. In a 2015 interview, Morton conceded (starts 7:39 in podcast) that the fish farm’s delousing procedure “worked very well for seven years” prior to 2015. MHC is now beefing up their preventative measures with a 75-metre “freshwater well boat,” to give fresh water cleansing baths to their salmon twice a year.
  3.  Press release from Fisheries and Oceans Canada; According to Marine Harvest’s Integrated Annual Report 2015, from Norway, HSMI is listed third in the “Main causes of reduced survival” graph on page 68; Ironically: though HSMI is specifically mentioned in Norway’s Region West, this was also “the most profitable (fish farming) region in Norway in 2015” p 55

Visiting Philips Arm Salmon Farm

The ECOreport’s experience: Visiting Philips Arm Salmon Farm

By Roy L Hales

screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3-43-47-pmMy interest in British Columbia’s fish farms began with Alexandra Morton’s fim “Salmon Confidential Documentary” and you can find a distillation of her arguments, as well as other articles critical of this industry on this website. I recently became convinced there is another side to this story that we haven’t been hearing. So I recently went visiting Philips Arm Salmon Farm, as Marine Harvest’s guest.
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Good News About BC’s Fishing Runs

The ECOreport went looking for evidences of the industry’s decline and instead found good news about BC’s fishing runs

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMAside from the incredible run of 2010, reports of the Fraser River’s sockeye salmon tend to be glum. I believe there is only one Cortes Island based fisherman still working the Johnston strait and recently learned this is the second year he did not receive an opening to fish sockeye.1 Though the culprits were last year’s drought and a culvert (close to my home), most of the chum returning to Basil Creek in 2015 were killed before they could spawn. These were just a few of the stories that prompted me to seek out evidences of the impending demise of what was previously one of our province’s leading industries. Instead, I found good news about BC’s fishing runs.

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  1. Roy L Hales interview with Thea Block, daughter of said fisherman

Hard Evidence From The Inside

The ECOreport looks at Alexandra Morton’s new video,  hard evidence from the inside

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMWildlife biologist Alexandra Morton has been wanting to get a close look at the salmon inside a fish farm for years. She got her opportunity on August 23, when the  Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw nation boarded the Marine Harvest Midsummer farm in Kingcome Inlet, BC. The video below shows what Morton found after lowered a Go Pro camera into the pens for ten minutes.  She calls this hard evidence from the inside.

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A Victory For Wild Salmon

Alexandra Morton’s struggle against fish farms has made her a folk heroine in British Columbia. Two years ago, she approached the legal firm ecojustice with a report that aquaculture company Marine Harvest Inc. had transferred Atlantic salmon infected with piscine reovirus (PRV) into net pens located along the Fraser River salmon migration route. Many Scientists believe piscine reovirus as the most likely cause of Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI), a severe disease that affects the muscles and heart of salmon and in many cases causes death. Ecojustice sued the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, arguing they must take responsibility for determining if and when it is safe to transfer fish into net pens in the open ocean. This is the story of the court victory they won on May 6 and Alexandra Morton talks a little about what comes next.

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Pressure Against BC’s Fish Farms is Mounting

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1After two years of legal proceedings, on May 6 Federal court ruled that the government cannot delegate its responsibilities, to protect BC’s wild salmon stocks, to the province’s fish farms. According to the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans, as many as 120 licenses, due for renewal this year, could be affected. Ecojustice filed on behalf of biologist Alexandra Morton in May 2013, after learning that salmon infected with infected with the piscine reovirus (PRV) were put into an open pen fish farm in Shelter Bay, BC. The owners, Marine Harvest Canada, claim “there no evidence” the fish they transferred were unhealthy. Morton has evidence to the contrary and, since her legal victory, the pressure against BC’s fish farms is mounting.

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BC’s Salmon Farms could face Multiple Legal Threats

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1BC’s Salmon farms could face Multiple Legal Threats . Ignoring the Cohen Commission’s recommendation for a freeze on net-pen salmon farm production along the Fraser sockeye migration route until 2020, the Federal Government has issued licenses. This has prompted the First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance to call upon the Harper Government to immediately implement Cohen’s recommendations. NAFTA is considering a full investigation of Canada’s failure to enforce section 36 of its federal Fisheries Act by allowing salmon aquaculture operations in British Columbia to release “deleterious substances” into waters frequented by wild salmon. Meanwhile Alexandra Morton’s long awaited suit against the Department of Fisheries and Oceans opened in Vancouver today. Morton’s lawyer filed the suit after learning that fish allegedly infected with the piscine reovirus (PRV) had been transferred into an open-pen fish farm operated by Marine Harvest along the Fraser River sockeye migration.
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Fighting for the Future of BC’s Fisheries

By Roy L Hales

As many as 70 million sockeye salmon  may return to the Fraser this year. These numbers have not been seen for decades and are quite a stark contrast to 1.6 million catch that sparked the Cohen commission a few years ago. That was when Dr Kristi Miller, head of Molecular Genetics at the Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s (DFO) Pacific Biological Station, testified that a  ‘viral signature’ of a disease  was contributing to as high as 90% pre-spawn mortality in returning Fraser sockeye. One of the reasons there is so much hope for this year, is the returning 2010 run were not infected. But, according to biologist Alexandra Morton, the real key to unlocking British Columbia’s incredible potential is Miller’s lab in Nanaimo.
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What is Killing BC’s Wild Salmon?

The ECOreport gives a distillation of evidences from “Salmon Confidential Documentary, ” What is Killing BC’s Wild Salmon?

By Roy L  Hales

Screen shot 2014-03-18 at 3.43.47 PMAnyone simply looking for evidence that salmon farms could be infecting wild salmon will find enough five minutes into Twyla Roscovich’s documentary “Salmon Confidential Documentary.” The evidence is laid so convincingly that one is tempted to turn the video off. That would be a mistake. Salmon Confidential Documentary follows biologist Alexandra Morton, as she seeks the cause of the massive salmon die-offs before they can spawn. As she gets closer to the answer, the question becomes why is the Department of Fisheries and Oceans not doing something about it?
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